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Buck30 - Grand Enchantment Trail Journal - 2014

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Brian (Buck-30)
Begins: Mar 31, 2014
Direction: Eastbound

Daily Summary
Date: Wed, May 14th, 2014
Start: FR 106
End: Sandia Crest
Daily Distance: 17
Trip Distance: 731.0

Journal Stats
Entry Visits: 494
Journal Visits: 25,270
Guestbook Views: 1,845
Guestbook Entrys: 15

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Grand Enchantment Trail Map

Day 45

The Sandia's

It dropped down to the high 20s, but I've found this benefits getting up early in the cold morning and hiking. I sleep with all my clothes on so I pretty much wake up, pack up my tent and start walking with all my clothes on and am very comfortable in the low 30s. Then I do a slow strip as it warms up.

The morning miles were through a huge network of trails in I believe the Manzanita mountains although I never saw any manzanita's. I'm currently due east of Albuquerque so there were lots of footprints, but no one out this early on a cold morning. I made fast time down to interstate 40 and Subway where I spent several hours draining the coke machine and eating. I also spent some time at the library across the street and then back to Subway. By the time I left around 1:30, it had finally warmed up a little for my 3000' climb into the Sandia Mountain Wilderness to the Sandia Crest. It appears that the hundreds of forest service employees from Arizona and New Mexico all descended on this one trail for maintenance. It was immaculately built to make the climb easy, it was wide, well defined, not overgrown and almost no blowdowns. Essentially the only well groomed forest service trail on the GET. Nice job folks! 15 miles down and only several thousand more miles to groom.

I saw a couple day hikers, and that was it as I pushed uphill to the Crest. Pretty nice walk, but looking east over highway 40 and a terrible quarry weren't the greatest views. I could see well north to I believe the Sangre de Cristo mountains capped in snow. The views west down to Albuquerque were pretty awesome and I focused on a sweet camp spot as the day was winding down. It took a little bit, but I found a spot on the west side of the Crest, a few feet from the rocky cliffs. Great views over Albuquerque and the sun setting directly into my tent keeping me warm at least until it sets and then a stellar sun set. Quite possibly the best spot of the trip actually. Gonna be cold up here though. Last night on the GET, sadly.

Entry 47 of 49
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Grand Enchantment Trail

The Grand Enchantment Trail is a 730-mile wilderness walking route across the Southwest U.S., connecting mountains, deserts, canyons, and places of cultural and historic interest. Beginning in the Sonoran desert near Phoenix Arizona, the route meanders eastward, crossing unique and diverse Sky Island mountain ranges, deep and water-blessed desert canyons, the pine-studded Continental Divide, and toward the southernmost Rocky Mountains, where it descends dramatically to the outskirts of Albuquerque New Mexico at its distant terminus. Learn more:


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